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The issue of family planning has been high on the international agenda recently. Earlier this month, London hosted a pledging conference where some donors promised generous funding for efforts to increase access to and education around family planning services in developing countries.
At the same time, however, there is increasing uncertainty about future support from the US, which has historically been one of the biggest donors. There is also growing concern about the world’s limited progress towards the family planning goals that were agreed upon in 2012, through the international framework known as FP2020.
Senior Policy Analyst and Assistant Director of Global Health Policy
Just how much progress have we made, and how far do we have to go? What difference will the new pledges make, and how should they be used? “There’s an opportunity to use the funds to plug some of those holes, but it will depend on how they’re managed and allocated,” Rachel Silverman, CGD’s assistant director of global health policy, tells me in this week’s podcast.
One priority, Silverman says, is to help donors “work together to make sure the funding is directed in a coordinated way towards the areas of most need, the areas where the funding can go the furthest.” Recommendations on how to do just that can be found in CGD’s recent report Aligning to 2020, and you can learn more about how to get the best health value for your money in CGD’s forthcoming book What’s In, What’s Out.
On International Women’s Day it is right to celebrate the huge advances in women’s rights during our own lifetimes. In almost every country in the world, women are closer to achieving equality in economic and social activity. However, even as we celebrate progress, we cannot lose sight of the road still to travel.
Last month, CGD hosted four former directors of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health to reflect on their experiences, which spanned US administrations from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. (You can watch the event here). Below, we highlight three main takeaways— the critical role of technical leadership, the importance of data, and the need to start with the end in mind when planning for successful transitions.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, on Canada's new feminist international assistance policy, the need for psychosocial support for refugees, and the links between family planning and development.
Modern contraception may be the single most important technology for development—it liberates women to think ahead, as men have always been able to do. Last month, CGD hosted the Third Annual Birdsall House Conference on Women: “Reproductive Choices to Life Chances: New and Existing Evidence on the Impact of Contraception on Women’s Empowerment.” The conference featured presentations from some of the world’s top scholars.